Back to the office? Ask yourself the right question!
For many years, we have worked on projects about ways of working. These were started for a variety of reasons, like creating a better work-life balance, digitizing processes or saving on office space. Now, Covid-19 has created a new wave of public debate about how and where we work.
In our projects, discussions often boiled down to the same question, in different forms and viewed from the different perspectives of employer and employee. This question is coming up a lot again, now that restrictions due to Covid-19 are lifted. This is a pity, because it’s the wrong question to ask.
How many days a week can I work from home?
How many days a week should employees come to the office?
So, why is this the wrong question? It seems logical to ask and easy to answer in a SMART way. Well, the problem is that it’s just not very relevant. In the end it’s not about how much time you spend or where you spend it.
Other questions, that are much more useful, include:
Why would I go to the office (or any place, really)? Why wouldn’t I?
Why would we like employees to be at the office?
When answering these questions, you will find many arguments, some of them conflicting. Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic at rush hour. Most of us like meeting our colleagues face to face, if only to socialise. For all the possibilities we have used during Covid-19 restrictions, sometimes collaboration is easier in person. But some types of work are best done alone. Health remains a top concern. And… why would you have to spend whole days in one place?
By starting at the right questions, you’ll find you can come up with ways of working that are optimally balanced. For employer and employee, for work and life, for different types of activities. And for each individual.
If you are looking for a structured way to discuss the many different aspects of your ways of working, try the Trilemma Game.
For a fun way to go from the why questions, through criteria (what) to solutions (how) we propose using Find Your Goal.
Do you want to (re-) build your team after Covid-19? Create a buzz with Team Party (also available in a Work From Home version)
Use our different tools to make effective use of the moments your team meets at the office. Or you can use many of them from home.